How Liberals Think, Day Deux

Yesterday, we brought you a classic example of How Liberals Think. Step one: identify a problem. Step two: propose "massive" government welfare programs to address it. The column was plucked from the pages of the Boston Globe. Today, the Globe's Big Apple corporate parent, the New York Times, gives another good illustration of the mindset.

As the title of its editorial indicates, Help for the $82,000 Family makes the case that families earning that much, or perhaps even more -- in excess of 300% of the poverty level -- should be entitled to participate in a healthcare welfare program known as S-chip.

Discussing the Boston Globe column, I noted that the author never bothered to even estimate the cost of his admittedly "massive" welfare proposal, or how many more jobs the higher taxes thereby inevitably engendered would kill. There is a similar inadvertent irony in the Times editorial. In making the case for the very high eligibility limit in the Empire State, the Times observes:
A person living in New York City may pay more than twice as much for the same goods and services as a person living in, say, Omaha, Houston or Atlanta.

Notice anything there? The cities the Times cites with a lower cost of living are all in red states. In ultra blue-state New York, the cost of living is high. What are the causes? Let's start with the fact that New York leads the nation in combined state and local taxes. As for NYC in particular, a recent study found the combined state and local tax burden is nearly 50% higher than it is in other major cities. And what causes NYC to suffer such inordinately high taxes? According to that same study: "the heavy tax levy is being fueled largely by Medicaid and public assistance costs."

Let's summarize:

  • High spending on healthcare welfare programs causes New York to have exceptionally high taxes.
  • Those high taxes in turn contribute to a cost of living in New York City double that of other big cities.
  • The New York Times relies on that high cost of living to justify. . . vastly expanded eligibility and spending on those same welfare programs.

A classic vicious cycle. Of course in the case of the Times, the cycle isn't vicious at all. The paper doesn't bother to disguise its real philosophy: "it is simply good public policy to insure as many children as possible." With adults surely to follow. Better living for all through ever-bigger government.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.